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Longitudinal MEG of Auditory Processing in ASD

The project, supported by the resources of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), will allow for the utilization of the extensive expertise of the scientific staff (physicists, neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, bioengineers, radiologists) as well as the support staff (research assistants, MR technologists, etc.). CHOP has extensive non-invasive imaging resources including whole-cortex magnetoencephalography (MEG), 3T MRI with 32-channel head coil and very large autism and control populations. The project built upon extensive structural and functional studies of the auditory system in autism that Dr. Roberts’ group has conducted over several years, funded in part by the NLMFF. Given the strong evidence for an abnormal trajectory of brain development in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), set in the context of inter-subject heterogeneity, this study adopted an intra-subject longitudinal design in a well-characterized cohort, with advanced functional, structural imaging (including imaging of white matter, recording of brain waves, and measurement of brain chemistry) and neuropsychological assessment follow-up of this cohort at 2+ years of their original exam.